updates from pastor scott
A Hope for Normal?
During the Advent season, we will hear often the theme of
“Hope”. Whether it be lighting a hope
candle, the hope of looking forward to a Merry Christmas, or in a year such as
this – the hope we have that next year
will be better than the one we just endured.
Recently, governmental and other societal leadership have
been speaking of the “hope” that we should have…a light at the end of the
tunnel (so-to-speak) to this pandemic.
They generally are referring to the anticipated vaccinations – of which
they are optimistic will be effective enough to curb the pandemic and pave a
way back to “normal”.
And this is just the thing I find intriguing. Of course, like everybody else, I too want to
combat the pandemic, and to return back to the getting-together with friends
and family, going out without a mask, and all the other things which we quite
frankly took for granted. However, I
find it intriguing that our societal hope is framed in terms of a “return to
normal”. As if everything was fine and
magnificent before, and if we could only return to that “normal” state, then
we’d once again return to having all the love & support we ever needed, and
every societal ill would suddenly disappear.
In actuality, putting ourselves back to “normal” is not necessarily the
best place we could be.
For the “normal” human condition – contrary to what many
would advocate – is not innately sharing, not loving, and does not easily reach
across societal and social boundaries. Instead,
we tend to draw lines and distance others.
This is why Jesus had to preach on loving one another and command us to
put others more highly than ourselves. Because
it isn’t natural to us. Who’s ever heard
of anyone ever having to “teach” selfishness to their children? Or to instruct others to stop caring for one
another so well? It is practically
So when we simply “hope” to return to normal – we set our
sights too low.
When an athlete is training, they may find themselves doing
laps or weights that put strain upon them.
The novice shuns these times, but the skilled athlete uses them to get
better. It is the hardest workouts that
can provide the greatest gains if we let them.
And we should have a similar approach to our “hope” for the
future. Not simply a hope for a return
to normal, but to dare to hope and strive for being better than we were
before. To let this pandemic shape us
and “better” us. To have a hope that
goes beyond ourselves and leans upon higher and divine transformation. The hope that Jesus has – that we see in page
after page of the Bible – is for us to be beyond the human condition,
and to adopt a “kingdom of God” approach to living. That is where our hope should rest.
And as Christians, we understand that what Jesus ultimately
was pointing us to was that our hope should be in the Lord, not simply in the
limits of mankind. Certainly we want to
keep pressing that bar higher and higher, but we do so while realizing that
without the help of an outside divine force, that our natural inclinations and
predilections will always hamper and limit our “normal” to lower than what it should
be. And this world is not all that we
have and all that we can hope for.
Instead, as Christians, our hope is in the Lord, and our hope in God
leads us to a hope that goes beyond even this world to glorious eternity in his
Therefore, when you hope, pray for a hope for a return to a higher
place than simply back-to-normal, and instead that the Lord shapes hearts and
souls during this time to reach outside themselves and to grasp for God – a God
that embodies everlasting hope.
we invite you to continue
to join in worship and song via LiveStream, Sundays at 10:15am.
We are currently meeting infoors and safely distanced.
WE WELCOME YOU TO WORSHIP WITH US!
AS TIER LEVELS ARE CONSTANTLY UPDATED AND REVISED, WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORSHIP SAFELY AND IN THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR COMMUNITY AND CONGREGATION.
PLEASE REVIEW OUR RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES BEFORE COMING TO WORSHIP SO YOU ARE COMFORTABLE AND INFORMED. WE ALSO HAVE NURSERY CARE AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN INFANT-PRESCHOOL.
GOD BLESS YOU, STAY SAFE, HEALTHY AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SUNDAY!
QUESTIONS OR ASSISTANCE?
Please write our Elders at: SESSIONCLERK@COVP.ORG
or Call the church office at 714.998.6650.